The Importance of Quintin Capone

King Asilas is not a man who needs reassurances about the decisions he makes. He is the quintessential leader and does not rest until he completes his mission, and reflects on the costs once his objective is achieved. Which has mustered curiosity by some as to why Quintin Capone is such an important figure in Asilas’s inner circle. The easiest analogy to use when evaluating the situation and the people surrounding the king is the classic game of chess. The king has two bishops, two knights, two rooks, a queen, and two lines of pawns. By episode 4, we already know his queen and who his two bishops are: Quintin Capone and Dr. Ezekiel. These men give the king guidance and he trusts their points of view. Minister Jeremy Oreb falls into the category of a knight because Asilas sends him to meet combatants, terrorists, domestic rebels and other threats with the might of his guns.  President Jackson is a rook because he proves to be valuable to the king in terms of public opinion. He also maintains ties to the monster group. We also know who some of his pawns are: Abigail Sierra and Rachel Canaan, but Rachel was likely sacrificed in episode 4. When you look at the characters in the show through this lens, you begin to see how their maneuvering is determined. Each move is calculated with another anticipated by the king.

But how did Quintin Capone, a school chancellor for New York City Public Schools during the second civil war, become the most powerful “right-hand man” of the New Kingdom? The show does not give any clues as to how Capone became so trusted by Asilas. The novel does explain this in detail. Capone was once in the Army and served alongside of Asilas in their early years. Asilas ascended in rank and Capone left the Army due to an injury. They remained friends and stayed in touch over the years. To sum it up, during the war, the United States was in utter chaos -with battlefronts scattered across the entire country. The one place where the civil war was not felt so disruptively was New York City. School children continued to go to school and life was as normal as it could have been during such a tumultuous time. The establishment of Marshall Law at the conclusion of the war by General Asilas enabled school systems to be community hubs for dissemination of information, instructions, basic first aid, and a plethora of social services so people would not have to venture far from their homes during the transitionary period. In a large city like New York, this emergency system kept the enormous population from plunging into utter turmoil. Capone, along with the mayor, reassured everyone life can continue as normal as long as they followed the instructions given by Washington and General Asilas. While cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles experienced great upheaval by a restless and paranoid population, New York was largely controlled and managed to stay peaceful during the government transition period. This decorum by New Yorkers on such a vast scale did not go unnoticed by Capone’s old friend, General Asilas.

When Asilas became king, the first person he asked to join his circle was Quintin Capone. For most, he was an enigmatic figure, but New Yorkers and people in the education field on the east coast knew Capone quite well. He was feared and despised by some, but respected by all. No one wished to cross him professionally or personally. So, to those who knew Capone, they were not nearly surprised to learn he would sit at the right hand of the king. The two men were very like-minded and always seemed to accomplish whatever they put their minds to. Their love and admiration for one another is evident in the way they converse. Capone, a brilliant man in his own right, was too smart to question the king when he knew his mind was made up. And whenever he spoke in contrast to the king’s ideas, he knew it to be wise to bow figuratively and literally. However, Asilas had no siblings and was not very close to many in his family since his days in the Army and Capone became his surrogate brother. He loved Capone for the figurative “brother” he was to him. But in the game of chess, Capone was his bishop and would sacrifice him only if absolutely necessary and only if he knew it would help him win the game.

The Homeland Defender’s Program

In Episode 7, Lord Joshua Jackson (the last president of the United States) enters King Asilas’s inner circle as a trusted member of the High Council. Lord Jackson references The Homeland Defenders Program when it is surmised people who’ve had the “fog lifted” from them engage in violent behavior and exhibit super human strengths. Jackson states certain measures should be limited to only those who need to have their “blood-thirst” quenched. But why exactly do people become “bloodthirsty” in the first place? No information or details about this program is discussed or revealed on the show, but it is clearly important enough to be a consideration as a counteraction of one of the most dangerous exploitations of human inhibitors on the planet.

What is alluded to by King Asilas and others is that the poison filter (code name Trishul -not mentioned in episode 7) removes inhibitors of the human brain and allows the brain’s capacity to be utilized to a much higher degree than normal. This increase in brain capacity results in humans becoming more powerful and seemingly more intelligent -drawing from some ancient knowledge source one struggles to interpret and apply in the modern world. Details of this reaction is discussed further in episode 8. Subjects acquire the ability to move objects with their minds and can communicate telepathically. These incredibly potent capabilities cause people to react violently when ancient knowledge surfaces and they realize their existence has essentially amounted to servitude.

In the early, experimental stages of the poison filter, Minister Oreb and his team of military scientists devised a contingency plan in case subjects became too powerful and violent to be contained. They discovered by turning their machine on and off at strategic times, they could tell who in their population of subjects would be prone to uncontrollable violence and super human strength, especially levitation and moving heavy objects with their minds. They called these individuals “Destroyers.” The Destroyers could be isolated and placed in special quarantine, where they could be studied further.

By sheer chance, one of their test subjects was a Satanist. Oreb and his team witnessed a group of Destroyers corner the Satanist and collectively decimated him by levitating him high up in the air and ripping his body apart while suspended in the air and then causing the pieces to go ablaze, incinerating him in midair. Then, they all levitated, encircling the ashes in a whirlwind. Later on, Oreb interviewed some of the subjects who remembered what they had done and asked them why they chose to kill one in their group the way they did. They all had the same answer; citing they just knew that individual was evil and partly responsible for their enslavement. They also revealed they simply could not stop themselves in this blood-thirst to eradicate anything touched by Satan.

Oreb and his team attempted to train these Destroyers as black op soldiers, but all endeavors to do so ended in failure. Oreb first took his wild ideas to turn these Destroyers into extensions of the military to the king, but Asilas understood the stark danger in releasing these people into the general public . There was simply no way of hindering them if they were out in the open. King Asilas instructed Oreb and his team to report only to him and not give details of their observations to anyone, not even other members of the High Council. Asilas wanted only a limited number of people in his inner circle to know the details of the Destroyers -still suspicious of a possible mole in his midst. So, they created the “Homeland Defender’s Program” as a means to code what they plan to do when they lift the fog on Americans.

King Asilas, Minister Oreb and Lord Roberts were the only members of the High Council who knew all the details of the Homeland Defender’s Program. Jackson mentioning it and Capone commenting on it was merely a way for King Asilas to make sure they were not the moles. After this test was completed, Asilas knew he could trust Jackson and Capone wholeheartedly. Originally, they wanted to test the poison filter on places like Las Vegas, a place surrounded by a desert in order to control the masses in case they needed to quarantine an entire city. But this idea was too risky. Instead, they used large underground bases and secret underground cities (Asilas only learned about these “cities” once he became king) to place and test the groups of Destroyers. Then, they would use the poison filter in increments in order to locate those individuals who could not be easily controlled and who would exhibit super human strength. What essentially amounted to private citizens suddenly being placed under arrest without breaking any laws would have created a public relations nightmare for the king. So, instead, he found creative ways to have these individuals register in the Homeland Defender’s Program. They received great benefits for their registration, but only under the stipulation they would have to report to undisclosed locations in times of a national emergency. This is how King Asilas was able to safeguard the quarantine of millions of Americans in the event the fog is lifted on citizens of the New Kingdom of America. The underground cities dotted across the kingdom were enormous and intricately connected through an elaborate tunnel system. Entire underground metropolitans (some as large as Houston) with hundred of thousands of people existed under everyone’s feet without ever even knowing it. So, Asilas realized it would be simpler to test people who were already underground and gave Lords Oreb and Roberts complete authority to carry out the tests on populations of people who were miles underground before trying it on people on the surface. Asilas also gave Lord Capone authority in this regard, as he relieved Oreb of is obligations with testing alongside Lord Roberts to complete the orchestrated actions pertaining to the occupation of Mexico.

The High Council was well aware of the program and knew eventually there would be millions of names on the list. They also knew the only thing that would keep them controlled long enough for their effects to wear off was the collective objective of destroying Satanists. King Asilas felt it was safe to let the High Council know the nuts and bolts of the program, but kept most of the minute details with Oreb and Roberts. The poison filter (Trishul) was such a powerful and useful weapon, King Asilas would one day became the most powerful man in the entire world because of it. The Monster Group became increasingly aware of Asilas’s weapon, but were not able to have someone close enough to the king to learn all the intricate details. For this reason, they had no choice but to keep a certain distance and hope Asilas would not send one of his own Destroyer infiltrators into their midst. However, their corner was shrinking and Asilas continued to close in on the Monster Group both on the surface and underground. Both the Monsters and Asilas proceeded with their respective plans and counter plans knowing the only resolve would be the complete annihilation of their opposition. Each were certain they would prevail.

Season 1 Wrap-Up

While the show went through many twists and turns in the writing process, fans might be surprised to learn that some of those twists had a lot to do with variables in the real world. For example, many of the cast members are public school teachers in Baltimore City. We (meaning myself as the writer and main actor and my colleagues) have tried very hard to make our schedules flexible so we could record after a long day of dealing with middle school students. Sometimes, these schedules wouldn’t work and the availability (or lack thereof) of some of the actors forced me to re-write parts of the storyline all together -sometimes midway in the production of an episode. But, of course, I’m a well seasoned writer and these bumps actually made me think of more creative ways to make the story stay in rhythm.

But now that Season 1 is complete, I can honestly say much was learned from both the writing aspect and the production. Season 1 was way over budget and I blame my lack of experience in the production side of things for this. Next season, there will be less of a need to spend so much money on things I can do myself. Plus the publishing company that finances this show has put a cap on the budget for next season. Anyway, as the season progressed, there was more of a conscientious effort to streamline the production for a finer quality sound. The equipment wasn’t any different; the finesse in the production improved.

I’m certain Season 2 will be much more action packed and intense because there is so much conflict that needs to be resolved. Plus, I will spend a great deal of time over the summer planning the next two seasons and get a jump start on the production long before the next school year begins. You see, we can’t do Season 2 right now because the school year is about to end and we (meaning most of the cast) won’t have access to everything needed to produce the show. We want to preserve the environment as much as possible so when September rolls around, it’ll be like Season 1 -only we’ll be better prepared and more experienced. But like every school year, teachers move around and I am praying everyone stays at the same school when the fall session begins. If not, that would present a little problem in accessibility to some of the characters and thus I’ll have to work around that. Not to mention there will be more students who will want to be part of the show (as many have expressed great interest) and that will also be something to consider. The more staff and students participate, the cheaper the production because it’s essentially an after school project and there’s less money involved -just what’s spent on pizza and sound effects.

I don’t want fans to think I’m being cheap. On the contrary, the less money spent on actors, the more can be spent on the production -and that’s really what’s at the heart of this project. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be paid actors in the show -of course there will be. In spite of having a company finance the show, the truth is it isn’t a very large company and money is tight. Professionals and semi-professionals will likely join our cast because let’s face it -when you pay for an actor, you generally get good stuff. I literally had to shelve characters on the show because the (free) actors were so bad. Anyway, the storyline for Season 2 is quite ambitious, so there will be many late nights editing and fine-tuning every second and every sound effect. That’s really where my focus will be on. Oh yeah, and I’ll be finishing the novel while all of this is going on.

~JV Torres

Nabal: Wanted Dead or Alive

It tingled warm and strange, causing a sudden, faint shock down his spine which made the Spartan open his eyes and gasp. He realized a finger had been probing his brain and his body jerked to the pulse of his heart as a bloody hand pulled away and into view. It was King Asilas and he was looking closely at something. The Spartan slowed his rhythmic convulsions to a still.

Holding the small, pebble-like object between his index finger and thumb, the king asked the Spartan, “Do you know what this is?”

“I-I’m not sure.” He replied.

He held the tiny object up to the lights overhead and examined it closer as streams of blood ran down the backside of the king’s forearm. “It’s a bullet.” Asilas lowered it close to the Spartan’s face. “Do you see that it’s a bullet?”

“Yes. I see now, my king. It is indeed a bullet.” The Spartan spoke lucidly to the king’s delight. He was still breathing heavily, but otherwise appeared to be aware of everything around him. The Spartan moved his eyes throughout the room and back towards the king’s drilling stare.

“And do you know your name, Spartan?” The king leaned to the side of the Spartan’s head, evidently studying his wound.

“Yes, Your Majesty. I am Nabal…”